Tuesday, February 03, 2009

New Feature: Block-Resistant Embedded Images

For years now, finding a way to keep email clients from blocking images in HTML emails has been the Holy Grail of email marketing. No matter which way you approached the problem, the result was nearly always the same: an annoying red x placeholder where your company logo or the picture of your hottest new product should have been, requiring the recipient to click on a link in order to view the images.

JangoMail’s newest feature, block-resistant Embedded Images, will relegate most of those pesky little red x’s to the permanent recycle bin, and allow users to easily embed the content of HTML email images into their e-communications, thereby ensuring that those images are immediately visible to recipients when the email is opened―even when the email client is set to hide images by default!

To bypass image blocking, go to the Send Email page and scroll down to the Advanced Options section. Checking the box next to the new “Embed Images” field will automatically convert the image references in your HTML email into encoded embedded images and ensure that your company logo and product images are instantly viewable by any recipient using a desktop email program (e.g. Outlook Express, Outlook, Windows Mail, Thunderbird) and by those using a Web-based email program such as Gmail. It’s that simple!

Embedded Images do come with a couple of note-worthy caveats, though, including increased email size and additional bandwidth fees. Furthermore, open tracking data may be skewed, since open-tracking is often contingent upon a unique image being downloaded by the recipient’s email program.

But, for email marketers eager to replace those ubiquitous red x place holders with their company logo or alluring images of their newest product offerings, the drawbacks of block-resistant embedded images are easily outweighed by their obvious advantages: improved brand recognition, the ability to view email images even if the recipient's computer is off-line, and noticeably higher response rates.

API Reference
To send emails including embedded images using the API, call the SendMassEmail method and set EmbedImages to "True" or "False" using the Options input parameter.